Is Spider-Man: Homecoming Setting Up Hobgoblin's Big Screen Debut?

Marvel fans are anxious for any news about Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film will be the first full feature for Spidey that takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the third try at Spider-Man's big screen life in the last decade and a half. Not only will the film brings Spider-Man and his amazing friends into the MCU (after a cameo appearance by Tom Holland's Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, of course), but it will also set up the next several years of adventures for the characters.

While the Vulture will be the primary antagonist for Homecoming, played by Michael Keaton, we also know that there will be at least three films in Tom Holland's solo Spider-Man future. That means there are a whole host of characters for Spider-Man to fight alongside - and to fight against. Every good hero needs great villains, after all, and Spidey has them in spades. Yet, somehow, the same couple seem to get used across media ad nauseum.

So, how do you use a Goblin character, but not recycle the Green Goblin for (counting both Harry Osborn versions) the fourth time? Build yourself to an introduction of Hobgoblin of course! Marvel Studios and their creatives like to plant seeds, and don't do things like name characters willy-nilly, so when actor Jacob Batolon revealed his character name is Ned Leeds, that set off alarms for Marvel Comics fans. Ned Leeds, in the comics, is one of the Marvel characters who becomes the Hobgoblin. How exactly that happens is a bit convoluted, and includes some brainwashing, a lot of being set up, and ends fatally.

So is Batolon being setup for a villain turn? Well, it's a complicated question. You see, while he may have the name Ned Leeds, Batolon's character certainly seems more based on Ganke, a character from Ultimate Spider-Man who has been Miles Morales's best friend and his first confidant. With that as the main basis of the character, a villain turn would be extremely out of left field. The villain turn for Leeds came much later in the character's life, as well, after he married Betty Brant (a one-time paramour for Peter as well).

"Ned is really an innocent, genuine, sweet kid," Batalon recently said of his character. "And so, I haven't been those things since like... I sort of just drew from my childhood when I was younger and didn't know any better. Because, you know, he's really naive in a sense. He just loves Star Wars and he's super-smart. And he just loves to play around, so I just went back to when I was a kid playing Power Rangers and Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon."

Wait, what is he saying about people who play Power Rangers and Pokemon?

At any rate, it doesn't seem too likely we'll see Batolon slapping on tights and flying around on a goblin glider anytime soon, or anytime at all. We could see a twist on the older Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley, kidnapping Leeds, though, at least nodding to their relationship in the comics a bit.

We'll find out more about Spider-Man: Homecoming when the trailer drops ahead of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in four weeks. The movie itself hits theaters next July.


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Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7, 2017.